COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — More than 110,000 Ohio school students and more than 22,000 teachers and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest weekly data released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health.

Numbers reflect the week ending the previous Sunday, so this week’s modest increase of 5,559 new cases is lower, because it reflects a time that schools were on winter break.

Ohio K-12 schools have reported 136,082 total cases to ODH since the school year began. Infections were caught in and out of school.

113,310 (83%) cases are students and 22,772 (17%) are staff members, which include teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff. Last school year, students were roughly 2 in 3 cases, and staff were 1 in 3.

Schools report cases among students and staff to ODH on Tuesdays, reflecting the week ending on the previous Sunday. ODH releases numbers on Thursdays at 2 p.m.


Case criteria

  • Full-time or part-time students and staff who have tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19. Infections were caught in and out of school.
  • Staff members include teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff.
  • Excludes students/staff who are completely remote, but includes them if they were “on-site” while infectious.

  • ODH reports “new” and “cumulative” cases. Cases only move over to “cumulative” once the person is no longer COVID-positive. NBC4’s count of new cases every week reflects the change in “cumulative” cases. More info

    Weekly COVID-19 cases reported by Ohio schools:

    • Sept. 17:  +10,682
    • Sept. 24:  +9,827
    • Oct. 1:  +7,564
    • Oct. 7:  +7,405
    • Oct. 14:  +6,289
    • Oct. 21:  +5,116
    • Oct. 28:  +4,660
    • Nov. 4:  +4,696
    • Nov. 11:  +5,348
    • Nov. 18:  +6,781
    • Nov. 24:  +6,668
    • Dec. 2:  +5,134
    • Dec. 9:  +10,190
    • Dec. 16:  +8,428
    • Dec. 23: +9,984
    • Dec. 30: +4,016
    • Jan. 6: +5,559

    1,563 (56%) of the 2,768 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college institutions that ODH tracks have reported a case this school year.

    The median number of cases among schools with at least one infection is 27.5 cases, while the median number for school districts is 122 cases.

    Cincinnati Public Schools, a district of more than 34,000 students, leads the state with 2,671 cases, ahead of the Cleveland and Columbus school districts with 2,155 and 1,831 cases, respectively. Columbus is among four Franklin County districts in the top 10.

    As the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 increases cases statewide, some Ohio school districts have opted for hybrid or remote learning.

    85.4% of Ohio’s public school students are in school five days a week, according to Thursday data from the Ohio Department of Education. Thirty districts have opted to go hybrid or remote or extend winter break.

    Tables from the Ohio Dept. of Education show the learning models and mask policies of public school districts statewide as of Jan. 6, 2022. (Screenshot/ODE)

    About 53% of students are in a district that requires masks for all or some students, which is slightly more than before winter break. 47% of students learn where masks are optional.